Entertainers Who Died While Performing People

Entertainers Who Died While Performing

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List of entertainers and celebrities who died during performances. This list contains anyone who worked as a professional entertaining on stage, on radio, in film or television or elsewhere, who died while engaged in a performance, in any way. Though the majority of these entertainers suffered an injury or illness mid-performance, and died of natural causes, some were actually killed or were involved in some kind of tragic accident. Those involved in these strange incidents include "Dimebag" Darrell of the metal band Pantera, who was murdered by a gunman while performing in Ohio, or actor Vic Morrow, who memorably was killed on the set of the "Twilight Zone" film while shooting a scene set in the Vietnam War. Though the list includes performers of all kinds, it does not include stuntmen or those whose performances involved potentially life-threatening situations.


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  1. Irma Bule

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    Irma Bule
    Photo: Tribun Jabar Official/YouTube
    Indonesian singer Irma Bule died after using a cobra as a prop during a performance in Karawang, West Java. Bule, who sang a type of Indonesian folk music called Dangdut, routinely used snakes in her performances. According to witnesses, she believed that the cobra in her April, 2016 show had been defanged. So when it bit her after she stepped on its tail during her second song, she continued to perform. Fourty-five minutes later, she began to vomit and sieze on stage. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
  2. Raphael Schumacher

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    Raphael Schumacher
    Photo: Raphael Schumacher/via Facebook
    In 2016, actor Raphael Schumacher was performing a hanging scene in the courtyard of Pisa's Teatro Lux when a spectator noticed that he was actually being choked to death. The spectator was a medial graduate and saw that Schumacher was trembling beneath his head covering. She and another person in the crowd helped get him down, but it was too late. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors suspected he was brain dead.

    The play's producers said that Schumacher changed the script at the last minute that day. The scene had originally included a gun shot, but Schumacher switched it to a hanging without notifying the crew.
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    John Ritter
    Photo: via pinterest
    John Ritter died on September 11, 2003 after he fell ill on the set of his show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." He was rushed to the hospital where he was misdiagnosed with a heart attack. He was later found to have had an aortic dissection, but it was too late to save his life.
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    • Age: Died at 55 (1948-2003)
    • Birthplace: Burbank, USA, California
    • Profession: Comedian, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Bad Santa, It, Three's Company, Sling Blade, Bride of Chucky, + more
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    Steve Irwin
    Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com
    "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin died on Sept. 4, 2006 after being attacked by a stingray while filming shots for "Bindi the Jungle Girl." The stingray reportedly reacted to Irwin as if he were an attacking shark and stabbed him over 100 times with his tail.
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    • Age: Died at 44 (1962-2006)
    • Birthplace: Essendon, Australia
    • Profession: Conservationist, Actor, Zoologist, Voice acting, Naturalist, + more
    • Credits: Happy Feet, Dr. Dolittle 2, The Crocodile Hunter, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, + more
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    John Candy
    Photo: via pinterest
    John Candy died of a heart attack on March 4, 1994 while on location in Mexico filming "Wagons East!." He was 43 years old.
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    • Age: Died at 44 (1950-1994)
    • Birthplace: Canada, Newmarket
    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Blues Brothers, Home Alone, Spaceballs, JFK, Vacation, + more
  6. On August 4, 1955, Carmen Miranda collapsed while performing on "The Jimmy Durante Show." She regained her composure and finished the performance, but she suffered a fatal heart attack the following morning.
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    • Age: Died at 46 (1909-1955)
    • Birthplace: Marco de Canaveses Municipality, Portugal
    • Profession: Pin-up girl, Singer
    • Credits: Scared Stiff, The Jimmy Durante Show, Nancy Goes to Rio, A Date with Judy, Springtime in the Rockies, + more
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    Redd Foxx
    Photo: John E. Reed, Hollywood/Coast Artists Inc./via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
    Redd Foxx died on October 11, 1991 after suffering a heart attack on the set of "The Royal Family." When he first grabbed his chest, several members of the cast and crew thought that he was joking, performing the gag that he made famous on "Sanford and Son."
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    • Age: Died at 69 (1922-1991)
    • Birthplace: USA, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Profession: Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor
    • Credits: Sanford and Son, Harlem Nights, Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Redd Foxx Show, Sanford, + more
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    Brandon Lee
    Photo: Elizabeth Rios/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
    Brandon Lee died on March 31, 1993 after being accidentally shot on the set of "The Crow." A prop gun was not properly secured, causing the fatal accident. He was 28 years old.
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    • Age: Died at 28 (1965-1993)
    • Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
    • Profession: Actor, Martial artist
    • Credits: The Crow, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Rapid Fire, Kung Fu: The Movie, Ohara, + more
  9. Professional wrestler Owen Hart died on May 23, 1999 after falling to his death when a stunt went wrong during a pay-per-view event. He died because of internal bleeding as a result of his injuries.
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    • Age: Died at 34 (1965-1999)
    • Birthplace: Calgary, Canada
    • Profession: Wrestler, Actor
    • Credits: WWE: Rock Bottom 1998, WWE: SummerSlam 1997, WWE: Survivor Series 1995, WWE: Survivor Series 1993, WWE Heat, + more
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    Marty Feldman
    Photo: via imgur
    Marty Feldman died of a heart attack on December 2, 1982 while on location in Mexico filming "Yellowbeard." He was 48 years old.
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    • Age: Died at 48 (1934-1982)
    • Birthplace: East End of London, London, England
    • Profession: Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer
    • Credits: Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, When Things Were Rotten, Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, + more
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    Dimebag Darrell
    Photo: jonobacon/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
    Pantera musician Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 2004 during a performance with his band Damageplan. The gunman Nathan Gale did not give any reason for the shooting, but it is suspected that he was angry that Pantera had broken up.
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    • Age: Died at 38 (1966-2004)
    • Birthplace: Texas, Arlington, Tarrant County, Contiguous United States, Area code 972, + more
    • Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician
    • Credits: Hard Rock Treasures, Kiss: The Second Coming, Dimebag Darrell: Dimevision: Vol. 1: That's the Fun I Have
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    Sam Patch
    Photo: via blogspot
    Daredevil Sam Patch died on November 13, 1829 while attempting to jump into the Genesee River from 125 above the surface. He either fell or had a bad jump and never emerged from the water. His body was found the following spring.
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    • Age: Died at 22 (1807-1829)
    • Birthplace: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States of America
  13. Felix Mottl suffered a heart attack while conducting a performance of "Tristan" in Munich on June 21, 1911. He went to the hospital, but died less than two weeks later.
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    • Age: Died at 55 (1856-1911)
    • Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
    • Profession: Conductor
  14. Alexander Woollcott died after suffering a heart attack while appearing on a Writers' War Board panel on CBS Radio on January 23, 1943. His last broadcasted words were, "It's a fallacy to think that Hitler was the cause of the world's present woes... Germany was the cause of Hitler."
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    • Age: Died at 56 (1887-1943)
    • Birthplace: Red Bank, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Critic
    • Credits: The Scoundrel, Babes on Broadway, Robert Benchley and the Knights of the Algonquin
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    Albert Stoessel
    Photo: via blogspot
    Albert Stoessel died on May 12, 1943 after suffering a heart attack while conducting an orchestra for the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. He was 48 years old.
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    • Age: Died at 49 (1894-1943)
    • Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
    • Profession: Conductor
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    Simon Barere
    Photo: xper2xper/via Youtube
    Simon Barere died on April 2, 1951 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while performing Grieg's Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall. He died collapsed on stage and died backstage shortly after.
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    • Age: Died at 55 (1896-1951)
    • Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine
    • Profession: Pianist
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    Johnny Ace
    Photo: Geffen Records/via iTunes
    Musician Johnny Ace died during a set break of a performance at City Auditorium in Houston, Texas on Dec. 25, 1954. He died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound in a drunken accident.
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    • Age: Died at 25 (1929-1954)
    • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
    • Profession: Singer
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    Tyrone Power
    Photo: Movie studio/via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
    Tyrone Power died on Nov. 15, 1958 after suffering a heart attack while filming "Solomon and Sheba." Yul Brynner replaced Power in the film.
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    • Age: Died at 44 (1914-1958)
    • Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Soldier, Actor
    • Credits: Witness for the Prosecution, The Mark of Zorro, Jesse James, The Black Swan, Nightmare Alley, + more
  19. Gareth Jones died on Nov. 30, 1958 during a break while filming "Underground" on the ITV network. He suffered a fatal heart attack.
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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: Warrington, United Kingdom
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    Louis Jean Heydt
    Photo: via tumblr
    Louis Jean Heydt died on Jan. 29, 1960, after suffering a heart attack while performing "There Was a Little Girl" in Boston. Jane Fonda co-starred in the play, which was set to appear on Broadway.
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    • Age: Died at 57 (1903-1960)
    • Birthplace: Contiguous United States, United States of America, Montclair, United States, with Territories, + more
    • Profession: Actor
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